Workshop Summary


(29 Sept 2005, Çanakkale-Turkey)

Mehmet E.Özel, Çanakkale University, Çanakkale-Turkey


I.                   Initial Programprize


Our initial program had included more international participation with  invited speakers from  Manchester Univ. (Robin Marshall) and  Oxford University (Neil Johnson, Justin Wark) where Henry Moseley had studied and worked, and also from Durham University where Prof. Arnold Wolfendale  who was the former President of European Physical Society (also, former Astronomer Royal, now retired)  had shown great interest and had accepted to be in our international advisory committee and be one of our key-note speakers (the second key-note speaker was Prof. Erdal Inönü  who had  recently received the Wigner International Physics Prize in the USA) together with Meltem Akyıldız, also from  of Durham University to be in our Local Organizing Committee. Other international invitees of initial program were  John Heilbron, the author of  a book on the life of Henry Moseley, Edwin Budding from Carter Observatory, New Zeeland and Israfil Guseinov, formerly from Baku University, Azerbaijan.   


II.                Final Program


Unfortunately, our applications for support  to cover  parts of the organization costs (mostly the international travels of our speakers) were all rejected for various reasons (we had applied to European Physical Society, British Council-Turkey Branch and National Research Council of Turkey, TUBITAK for this purpose). Without such a support, several of our international speakers could not attend the meeting. This caused some changes in the initial program and we have announced a slightly different program, restricted in duration. The title has also been modified into a workshop on the ‘work and life of Henry Moseley in his 90th anniversary’. The initial  side topic announced as ‘the role of science and scientists in the processes of war and peace’  was also kept in the new program. (These changes were announced at the  website of Physics Dept of Çanakkale University (ÇOMÜ), )


The meeting was held as planned with  7 speakers from 3 countries, some number of poster presentations (one from Australia). After short opening speechs by the president (rector) of home  University, Prof. Ramazan Aydın, (who is also a physicist and gave a strong support for our meeting), and by M.E.Özel on behalf of  sponsors and organising committee of the meeting. After opening,  4 of the  invited speakers in the morning sessions and 3 in the afternoon sessions were followed by a  panel discussion on the topic of ‘war, peace and science’ whose moderator was Prof. Osman Demircan, head of Physics Dept and former Deputy Rector of the University.


      III.         Workshop Sessions  and  Summary of Presentations


A short summary of talks by speakers are given bekow (full contents of presentations can be followed in the same website given above and full texts of presentations are in preperation as the workshop proceedings.)



IN THE MORNING SESSIONS; the key-note speaker Prof. Erdal Inönü, has made a talk on ‘the role of science and scientist in war and peace processes’. {Prof Inönü was a long time active reseacher in theoretical  and mathematical physics and a  University teacher - now retired. (He was also the leader of Social Democratic Party and Deputy Prime Minister for about a decade after 1983). He is presently jointly working in Sabanci Univ.  and Feza Gursey Inst. of  Theoretical Physics  (of TUBITAK) in İstanbul, mostly on topics of history of science}. Prof Inönü  gave us examples of roles of scientists in the time of, first, during the war (starting from Archimides, ending with the roles Einstein and Oppenheimer and other physicists  in Manhattan Project ) and then, in the time of  peace. As an example, he has  cited the efforts of Turkish Republican regime established  after 1923 to built a new university system, by seizing the opportunity that arised in Europe, after Hitler came to power in Germany. He gave  examples of many scientists (about 200 in all fields, till the end of SWW) who flew from Nazi Germany to Turkey. Many of them were also given regulatory duties during the years of university reform in Turkey after 1933.


 He also mentioned  the positive and negative results from Soviet Union experience, stressing the free climate needed for the true development of science and technology.


He also stressed that science is a strong tool for development and rising the scientific level of our country is the duty of young students who were among the listeners.


Prof. Inönü was followed by Prof Mete Tuncoku, {former president of Çanakkale University and a scholar of international relations} has  stressed the fact Moseley may not be the only example who is a scientist and fell victim to the war and we should not single out Moseley among a larger list. Also, he mentioned the unusually  warm and infulentially poetic reception of all soldiers who fell at Gallipoli War, in 1934, by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, then the President of Turkish Republic, and former  succesfull commander of Turkish Forces who defited the invading Allies  armies in 1915. (This speach announces that all who fell at Gallipoli War are considered no different than Turkish martyrs with strong words, and was  repeated at our workshop website)


Then, Prof Mehmet Emin Özel  {Director of Graduate School for Science and Engineering of Çanakkale University and organiser of the meeting } made a talk on the life story and scientific contibutions  of  H. Moseley making use of various internet sources and also, sources like Prof. J.L. Heilbron’s ‘HGJ Moseley: The Life and Letters of an English Physicist, 1887-1915’ [1974, Univ. California Press] and Bernard Jaffe’s ‘Moseley and Numbering of Elements’ [1971, Heinemann-London]. Mainly I was stressing the scientific climate around 1910 and the coordinating role of Prof. Ernest Ruherford at Manchester University, at the time. For example, Prof. Niels Bohr has become a regular visitor of his laboratory and Moseley’s Law had provided a very strong support to his atomic model who had announced it in 1913.


Another point was  how it happened that Moseley had quickly and voluntarily enlisted for the British Army and found himself at one of the severest fronts of FWW, the Gallipoli front in Turkey, as a signal officer of 38. Brigade.  Actually he had two seperate job  applications just before the break of war  to Oxford and Birmingham Universities which were turned down just  after his important discoveries about elements with  the reason of break of war!


Prof Özel also mentined of the reports and comments on his death in the international science press at the time (like ‘sacrifice of a genius’, ‘too valuable to die’ Nature, 104, 82, 1919) and  what prizes and comemorative actions were carried in England and other countries.


Also summarised was Prof. Özel’s efforts to ‘discover’ the graveyard of Henry Moseley. In records, he is known to  die in action on Aug. 10, 1915. After some work on more detailed reading, a visit to war fields is programmed,   together with  Commonwealth War Graves Com. (CWGC) officer at Çanakkale city,  Mr Ian Mcquigg to check on the action and movement details of  British troops and a citizen of Çanakkale city, Ms. Nurcan Dilli, who is interested in Gallipoli Wars, on June 28, 2005. Positive result of this visit about re-discovery’ was  announced in the workshop  website, (under ‘recent events’).


One new proposal by the speaker was to give  to a newly discovered distict element (like  the element 118)  his name as Moseleyum (*).   


Also mentioned earlier propositions by Prof Özel in a popular article (**) that, a comemorative action sould be made by Çanakkale University by giving Moseley’s name to a laboratory or a teaching class and if possible, an international physics prize could be established to his name for young sceintists  from fighting  (or all ? ) countries there. [This list of countries now include, Turkey, Germany, England, İreland, France, Greece, (former Britsh colonies) Malta, Egypt, İndia, Pakistan, Bangaldesh, Nepal, Burma Australia, New Zeeland, and probably others!] Since there were relatively unexpected reluctance in providing support for our, earlier  international conferenceattempt, we thought probably time is not ripe for such an internationalphysics prize action.


Next speaker was Prof. Nihat Falay {of Istanbul University, Faculty of Economy and Accounting} whose was entitled ‘State Defence Expenditures and Universities’. His expertise brought our attention to the difficulties in the accountibility or war and defence  spendings in the time of peace and war. His examples were from Turkey, as well as from  present day USA, whose involvement in Iraq war and its financial aspects and its effect on current politics of President Bush.


THE AFTERNOON SESSIONS were mostly spared for scientific aspects of Moseley’s discoveries on Periodic Table, or better,  our present understanding of structure of matter.


First talk by Prof. I. Gusseinov, {formerly, Univ. of  Baku, Azerbaijan, presently at Physics dept, Çanakkale Univ. } gave us an account of theoretical understanding of nuclei, atoms and molecules. His own contributions to a unified formulation of behaviour of nuclei, atoms and molecules were at the focus of his talk.


Second talk was by Prof. Edwin Budding {of Carter Observatory, New Zeeland who is a guest member of Physics Dept of Çanakkale Univ.} with the title ‘Manchster Physics: from Moseley to Kopal’. Being also a PhD graduate of Manchester University  under Zdenek Kopal, reminds us the basic questions we should ask what makes  a succesful university as well as  a succesfull physics class like the one in 1912 with 20 students,  5 of which became future Nobel Prize Laurates plus Ernest Rutherford, Henry Moseley and the famous scientist A.S.Eddington)’. Prof Budding considered factors in direction-setting, and the general atmosphere of support  to physics  and science. Military connectivity was noted as a feature in


(*) A similar proposal was actually  made by Pittsburg University earlier, when element Z=43 was discovered; it was later given the traditional Latin name Technetium. Now, that  naming of elements after physicists has become a common practice with Lawrecium, Nobelium…, a renewal  oh this was appropriate and timely.

(**)TUBITAK Bilim Teknik, June 2002 issue, p. 94. (TBT has a circulation of 100 000 and a number of letters from readers to the author after this article is a sign of positive reception of the proposals.

some success stories, but this was again a background of conviviality and shared values.


Last talk of the day was by Dr Rifat Çapan {Assoc.Prof., head of Physics Dept  at Balıkesir University, Turkey} who draws our attention on the levels of nanotechnological material sciences whose development can  be easily tied to our understanding  on structure of matter starting from Henry Moseley and his corrected Periodic Table.


THE PANEL DISCUSSION  on the topic of ‘War, Peace and Sciences’ was modareted by Prof Osman Demircan, {the head of the Çanakkale Uni. Physics Dept.}, another PhD  Manchester  graduate under Kopal’s direction. Speaker were from invited contributors as well as participants and listeners.  Main topics of discussion were (1). What should be the role of science and scientists especially at peace time fort he improvement of living conditions of all; (2). The ways we can improve the science and  science education at Universities in Turkey, in the light of connections of our country with the European Union and recent research and education initiatives including the exchange programs for students and staff members. (3). Prof Demircan also summarised the activities of Çanakkale Physics Dept in 2005 Int’l Physics Year, where Moseley Workshop was part of it (see for more details). (4). Prof Budding continued his discussion on  ‘What makes a succesful class in a University as well as a succesful science policy  in a country like Turke. These points were also hotly debated by other members of the Panel. It was one conclusion that  leaders as well as facilities (library, classes, boks…) and science policies at University level as well as general policy essential for the success…(5) My closing remarks were on the unexpected results of this and other wars where personal tragedies and details also pave the ways to friendship and peace among nations as was exprssed by M.K.Atatürk in 1934 and today, we expect that same event has the potential  and possibility for the cause of peace, cooperation and advancement of science even after 90 years, if we are ready to take the message.


IV-        A Visit to Moseley’s Graveyard


On Sept 30th, a group of  scientists including  M.E. Özel together with   Aysun Akyuz and Nuri Emrahoğlu {  both  from Çukurova University, Adana-Turkey} representing Turkish Universities and Selma Belen {from Univ. of Adelaide, Australia} on behalf of under-represented international  participants of the Workshop, have paid a visit to the place known as Ağıldere  in the Gallipolli Peace Park, i.e., the former Gallipolli War Fields. There is an official British graveyard called ‘The Farm’ at the location for all Britih and Anzac soldiers who died (including Moseley) in the severe  battles in that neighbourhood. Moseley’s name is not among the symbolic 7 gravestones there. It was the general feeling that it would be fitting to add his name as the 8th plate This may need a formal proposal by CWGC to Turkish authorities for a permission which would easily be granted with proper details and noble scientific  aims.


V-          Proceedings of Moseley Workshop


Proceedıngs of the workshop will be published, as a book and/or CD together with many  more pictures from the meeting and the group’s visit to Ağıldere (The Farm). It will be distributed to those interested for a meager cost of production and posting. (Please write to  and for a copy after production.)